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Which Ravens’ UDFAs have the best chance of making the 2022 roster?

It’s too soon to tell, but not too early to project based on remaining team needs.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 LSU at Mississippi State Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the 2022 NFL Draft in the rearview and training camp and the preseason three months away, it’s too early to determine whether one or any members of any team’s undrafted rookie class will make the final cut anywhere in 2022. However, it’s not too soon to project which one(s) stands the best chance of making the Baltimore Ravens’ initial 53-man roster from their crop based on remaining needs and lack of depth on the team as it currently stands.

The Ravens will hold their Rookie Minicamp this weekend, where many of these perceived longshots — some more or less than others — will have an opportunity to make their first in-person impressions as professionals.

WR Makai Polk

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 30 Kentucky at Mississippi State Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021 stats: 13 games, 105 catches, 1,046 yards, and nine touchdowns

In addition to needing speed at the wide receiver position, the Ravens could also benefit from adding more size on the outside. The former Mississippi State Rebel is 6-foot-3 and used it to his advantage during a breakout season after transferring from the University of California.

While Polk doesn’t possess breakaway speed and isn’t the best separator, he works the boundary with great body control, high points the ball well, and has great ball skills. He makes great adjustments to the ball and has some wiggle to his game after the catch.

WR Shemar Bridges

2022 NFL HBCU Combine Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

2021 stats: Four games, 28 catches, 292 receiving yards and one touchdown

The former Fort Valley State Wildcat didn’t have prolific production in college but he does possess impressive measurables and playmaking ability at 6-foot-4, 207 pounds. He is a big-bodied receiver that specializes in coming down with jump balls and making contested catches.

WR Trevon Clark

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 23 Colorado at Cal Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021 stats: 10 games, 33 catches, 658 yards, four touchdowns

The former University of California Golden Bear offers both size and vertical playmaking ability at 6-foot-4. Clark was the primary deep threat for the Golden Bears during his breakout 2021 campaign, when he averaged nearly 20 yards per reception. Even though he did run a blazing 40-yard dash time at the Combine or his Pro Day, Clark’s tape showed he possesses faster game speed and he consistently got behind opposing defenses to make plays downfield.

CB Denzel Williams

NCAA Football: Villanova at Penn State Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

2021 stats: 10 games, 16 tackles, two interceptions, two passes defensed

The Ravens are firm believers in the mantra that “you can never have enough corners” and are looking for a new nickelback after releasing Tavon Young this offseason. Even though they drafted Damarion Williams in the fourth round and have Ar’Darius Washington returning, the door is still open. Denzel Williams, a 5-foot-10 and 190-pound former Villanova Wildcat, could be another candidate that would need a strong camp and preseason to stand out and separate himself.

Like Young, he played mostly on the outside in college but projects better to the slot in the NFL. Williams is sticky in coverage, drives and makes plays on the ball, is aggressive in run support as a blitzer, and is a strong tackler. He can fight through blocks to make a stop or at least slow a ball carrier down so teammates can rally.

WR Slade Bolden

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 31 CFP Semifinal - Goodyear Cotton Bowl - Cincinnati v Alabama Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021 stats: 15 games, 42 catches, 408 yards, three touchdowns

While the Ravens are already well-stocked with undersized slot receivers on the roster, a team can never have too many sure-handed targets in the passing game. The former member of the Alabama Crimson Tide is a gritty and shifty player that knows how to create separation with crisp route running. He’s also adept at finding and sitting down in the softs of zone coverage.

Bolden will also need to show out on special teams during training camp and the preseason to gain an edge over his larger undrafted competition at the position. He gives me Cole Beasley vibes both in playing style and personality. I wouldn’t be surprised if he dropped an album with Gus Edwards if he wound up making the team.

ILB Josh Ross

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 Big Ten Championship Game - Michigan v Iowa Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021 stats: 14 games, 106 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two pass deflections, and 0.5 sacks

With the additions that the Ravens brought in at safety this offseason, the likelihood of an undrafted off-ball linebacker won’t be as high as it has been in years past. However, if any of the rookies that they signed at the position stand the greatest chance, Ross is the most likely candidate.

He had his best collegiate season in 2021 under Mike MacDonald and is the most familiar with the system of the bunch. The former Michigan Wolverine led the team in total tackles and was the field general in the middle of a fearsome defense, which featured a pair of first-rounders. It would’ve been three had David Ojabo not suffered a torn Achilles in the pre-draft process and fell to the Ravens in the second round.

WR Devon Williams

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 27 Oregon State at Oregon Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021 stats: 10 games, 35 catches, 557 yards, four touchdowns

The former Oregon Duck is the tallest target on this list at 6-foot-5 and weighing 207 pounds. Williams uses his size well in jump-ball and contested-catch situations, where he high points the ball while boxing out and walling off defenders. While he never cracked 600 receiving yards in a single season, Williams showed that he could deep-threat down the field when targeted. He averaged 19.1 yards per catch in 2020 and 15.9 in his best statistical season last year.

OT Aron Johnson

Syndication: The Des Moines Register Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Ravens drafted Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele in the fourth round but could use some more depth at offensive tackle, an area that hamstrung their offense last year due to injuries.

The former South Dakota State Jack Rabbit started 20 of the 48 games he appeared in college. Johnson has a slightly light, yet still solid build at 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds, and was the starting left tackle for an offense that averaged 231 rushing yards per game in 2021. So, he has experience and prowess playing in a run heavy scheme.

DT Rayshad Nichols

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 07 Sam Houston State v Stephen F Austin Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021 stats: 14 games, 51 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, four quarterback hits, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one touchdown.

The former Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack is an athletic interior pass rusher and was very productive in his breakout senior season. Nichols is lightly undersized at 6-foot-2 and 305 pounds but is extremely strong at the point of attack and uses violent active hands to quickly shed blocks.

WR Raleigh Webb

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 07 USF at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

2021 stats: 11 games, 25 catches, 536 yards, and three touchdowns

The former Citadel Bulldog is another intriguing deep threat option with the breakaway speed to run away from defenders. He averaged 21.4 yards per carry last year and has upside a special teams contributor as gunner.